Purpura fulminans, usually seen in previously healthy children acquiring severe infections, especially meningococcal sepsis and meningitis, is a rare catastrophic disease with initial hemorrhagic skin lesions rapidly progressing to gangrene accompanied by shock and frequently resulting in death. We report 2 cases of purpura fulminans who were diagnosed in the past 2 years. Both blood cultures yielded Neisseria meningitidis. One of them expired within 48 hours after admission despite aggressive therapy. The second patient, who received the treatment of heparin, antibiotics, and blood product replacement, survived with minimal sequelae. We deem young age and severe coagulopathy are especially associated with a fatal outcome in children with purpura fulminans. Early recognition of this disease and prompt appropriate therapy may be lifesaving for these patients.
Acta paediatrica Taiwanica = Taiwan er ke yi xue hui za zhi 01/1999; 40(2):119-20.